Fri, Nov 10, 2006 - Page 2 News List

New rule would bar MND personnel from politics

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) is planning an amendment that would prohibit military personnel or employees from involvement in any politically related activities, including political discussions or posting commentaries on the Internet.

The ministry drafted the amendment to the National Defense Act (國防法) at the request of lawmakers on the legislature's National Defense Committee.

"We saw some military personnel participate in the recent anti-president protests," Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) said. "Since we do not have any regulations governing that, their behavior caused trouble and confusion for both themselves and the military."

Lee was referring to a military instructor at National Ilan University who took part in the anti-president demonstrations in front of the Presidential Office in September.

She was relieved of her job at the university and transferred to a desk job at the Ministry of Education because her behavior was deemed "improper" for an officer.

Proposing his own version of the amendment as a reference for the defense ministry, Lee said he hoped that both service personnel and the military's civilian employees would follow the new rule to ensure the military's neutrality.

According to the defense ministry's amendment, all military personnel and civilian employees would be barred from taking part in any politically related activity, from distributing promotional items, delivering speeches to posting articles on the Internet, hosting political activities or conducting political surveys.

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